Civil Engineering

Our research

Department of Civil Engineering

The Department of Civil Engineering's research

Conducting rigorous research within civil engineering

The Department of Civil Engineering’s research activities are based in the Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) research centre. Research undertaken by BEST focuses on applied research, which is closely linked to industry requirements. BEST’s research also includes significant areas of theoretical ‘blue-skies’ work, which is aimed at addressing long-term global needs.

As part of this work, researchers from our Department are securing increasing research income. Our researchers are also maintaining our long-standing tradition of creating national and international collaborations with other academic institutions and industry partners.

To ensure our students benefit from our research, we integrate our work with our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. We also encourage our students to involve themselves in research carried out by the Department and all students are invited to conduct their own research projects.  Previously, students have had great success.

In recent years, for example, Dr Mawada Abdellatif won a number of prizes for her PhD work during international and internal conferences. One of Dr Mawada Abdellatif's papers, Future Challenges in Urban Drainage Systems under Global Warming, was presented at the Global conference on Global Warming (GCGW-12), which was held at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) in Turkey.

Alaa Abbas, another PhD student, is looking to submit a patent application for his work into novel designs for drainage systems, despite only recently beginning his PhD investigation.

The Department has started planning for the next Research Excellence Framework submission, which is expected in 2020. The Department are preparing by focusing research and enterprise within our key research areas, which are outlined below. A number of articles have already been published in quality journals. The Department is also encouraging all staff to be research active and we have a mentoring programme for junior staff that equips them for promotion to reader and professor status.


The Department of Civil Engineering’s research mainly focuses on the following key areas:

  • Pavement design and pavement engineering
  • Wastewater treatment, water resources, water conservation, tank failure mitigation
  • Structural behaviour of buildings
  • Mitigation against catastrophic tanks failure
  • Sensors and their role within civil engineering design and analysis
  • Safety and life cycle analysis of highway infrastructure

Within these areas, BEST’s research projects have focused on:

  • Producing energy from waste using advanced technologies
  • Efficient recycling systems
  • Low/zero carbon buildings
  • Sustainable construction management, procurement and facilities management
  • Sustainable communities and real estate
  • Facilities and building performance
  • Unique wireless sensors for real time monitoring
  • Water, wastewater, oil and gas
  • Material characterisation
  • Food quality
  • Building health monitoring
  • Healthcare and patient wellbeing
  • Security
  • Low carbon cement technology